Jay Z | Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Jay Z

Net worth: $610 million (as of May 2016)
  • Year of birth: 1970
  • Education: High school dropout

How Jay Z’s net worth was built

While primarily known for his music in the hip-hop scene, Jay Z’s business ventures have contributed tremendously to his $610 million net worth. Tidal, his streaming service, has more than 3 million subscribers. Of course, his Roc Nation entertainment company, Armand de Brignac champagne and D’Usse cognac are also helping his net worth grow.

Shawn “Jay Z” Carter began his life in a housing project in Brooklyn and made money selling drugs before music started paying the bills. By 1996, he had formed Roc-A-Fella Records with 2 friends and released an album. This was followed by a string of successes and critical acclaim.

He announced in 2003 that he was retiring, but it didn’t last long. He became president of Def Jam Recording in 2005 and has stayed active in the music industry, performing and headlining festivals such as Glastonbury and Coachella. Jay Z also has a sports bar chain, a Greenwich Village bistro, a clothing line and is co-owner of a line of beauty products. He has even written a memoir that he titled “Decoded.”

You can use Bankrate’s net worth calculator to see how you compare.


What he’s up to now

In addition to his career in the music industry, Jay Z keeps busy with Tidal, a music streaming service. In 2003 he co-founded the Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund with his mother to help urban kids go to, and graduate from, college.

He’s also married to ultra-successful singer and performer Beyonce Knowles.


Accolades

Jay Z is a Grammy Award winner and has been recognized by the BET Awards, American Music Awards and the MTV Video Music Awards.